World Lit II - Class Notes for January 19, 2012

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  • 1. World Literature II Renaissance to the Present Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 19, 2012
  • 2. Daily Write
    • What contemporary book, movie, TV show, or other cultural phenomenon would you compare Pantagruel to, and why?
    Please do your best to answer this question in one (or two) (nice, juicy) sentence(s).
  • 3. Gargantua and Pantagruel : Identification
    • Author = François Rabelais*
      • Nationality: French
      • Dates: (c. 1494–1553)
    • Title = Gargantua and Pantagruel
    • Genre = Novel (series of 5)
      • *Rabelais wrote under the pseudonym Alcofribas Nasier, which is an acronym of François Rabelais
  • 4. Gargantua and Pantagruel
    • Rich use of contemporary French (vernacular)
    • Employs popular legends, farces, and romances
    • Classical and Italian material
    • Written primarily for a learned public
    • Exuberant, colorful and wide-ranging vocabulary
    • Variety of literary forms, styles, and techniques
  • 5. A World of Rapid and Radical Change
    • Black Death (1348-1350)
    • Boccaccio’s Decameron (1353)
    • Coluccio Salutati comes to Florence (1396)
    • Western Schism (1378)
    • Council of Constance (1417)
    • Thomas More’s Utopia (1516)
    • Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses (1517)
    • Erasmus & Christian Humanism (1466–1536)
    • Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-1564)
    • Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1615)
  • 6. Rabelais and Erasmus
    • Rabelais was a friend, close associate, and intellectual heir of Erasmus of Rotterdam
    • Erasmus (1466–1536) was a humanist, priest, social critic, teacher, theologian, and proponent of religious tolerance
    • Best known for In Praise of Folly (1509)
  • 7. Erasmus & Christian Humanism
    • Erasmus (1466–1536) sought to bring classical learning to northern Europe (England, France, Germany, the Netherlands)
    • Witty, cynical, and humorous attacks on the abuses of the Church
    • Exposed corruption, graft, popular superstition and idolatry
    • Expressed what others were thinking and struck a chord with popular opinion and sentiment
    http://www.historyguide.org
  • 8. Erasmus & Popular Theology
    • Wanted Europeans to have more direct access to God and divine truth
    • Wanted to strip away the layers of commentary between human and God
    • In 1516, Erasmus translated and published a German version of the Greek New Testament along with an existing Latin translation
    http://www.historyguide.org
  • 9. Erasmus & Reformist Opinion
    • With works like In Praise of Folly (1509), Erasmus made people aware that
      • The Church did not practice what it preached
      • The religion of the medieval Church was far removed from the original followers of Christ
    http://www.historyguide.org
  • 10. Some Bits of Erasmus
    • Jupiter, not wanting man’s life to be wholly gloomy and grim, has bestowed far more passion than reason—you could reckon the ration as twenty-four to one. Moreover, he confined reason to a cramped corner of the head and left all the rest of the body to the passions.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 16
    • Whether a party can have much success without a woman present I must ask others to decide, but one thing is certain, no party is any fun unless seasoned with folly.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 18
  • 11. Some Bits of Erasmus
    • This type of man who is devoted to the study of wisdom is always most unlucky in everything, and particularly when it comes to procreating children; I imagine this is because Nature wants to ensure that the evils of wisdom shall not spread further throughout mankind.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 24
    • If you look at history you’ll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 24
  • 12. Some Bits of Erasmus
    • If you look at history you’ll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 24
    • Ask a wise man to dinner and he'll upset everyone by his gloomy silence or tiresome questions. Invite him to a dance and you'll have a camel prancing about. Haul him off to a public entertainment and his face will be enough to spoil the people's entertainment.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 25
  • 13. Some Bits of Erasmus
    • Now I believe I can hear the philosophers protesting that it can only be misery to live in folly, illusion, deception and ignorance, but it isn't—it's human.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 32
    • The more ignorant, reckless and thoughtless a doctor is, the higher his reputation soars even amongst powerful princes.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 33
  • 14. Some Bits of Erasmus
    • Man’s mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 45
    • The entire world is my temple, and a very fine one too, if I’m not mistaken, and I’ll never lack priests to serve it as long as there are men.
      • Praise of Folly, ch. 47
  • 15. Jules Verne* (1828-1905) * Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) * A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) * Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) The Terminator (1984) World War I World War II The Holocaust The Atomic Bomb The Cold War Vietnam Watergate AIDS History and Literature
  • 16. Boccaccio (1313-1375) Rabelais (c. 1494-1553) Black Death (1348-50) Western Schism (1378-1417) Jacquerie Rebellion (1358) Ciompi Rebllion (1378) Peasant’s Revolt (1381) Introduction of Greek (1396) Printing Press (1440) In Praise of Folly (1509) Utopia (1516) 95 Theses (1517) History and Literature
  • 17. Next Week
    • 1/19 Rabelais, Pantagruel , pp. 1-50
    • 1/24 Rabelais, Pantagruel , pp. 50-145
    • 1/26 Rabelais, Pantagruel , pp. 145-194
  • 18. Daily Write
    • What point do you remember most clearly from today’s class or think was most important, and why?
  • 19. World Literature II Renaissance to the Present Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 19, 2012